I had been looking for another dog after we bought the Velma house and so I was hitting the local shelter sites regularly.
During the same time period I could have gotten my hands on a puppy from the Sonoma County Humane Society, but I kept coming back to this sweet boy's picture at the Healdsburg Animal Shelter web site.
I knew there wouldn't be a problem with the puppies getting a home, but he was an older dog at 6 years of age so I went and saw him on the 18th.
I liked what I saw and took Cliff the Mutt back with me the next day and they didn't have problems so I could bring him home.
I admit that I ran roughshod over Slugbo to get this dog. He didn't get to meet him till I brought him home. And that was probably a really bad idea. Everything on the form the people that relinquished him filled out made him spectacularly unsuited for our home.
I didn't care. I wanted him and I brought him home.
He was very terrified of men. Ran from Slugbo all the time. Hid when he could, tried to melt into the floor when he couldn't. Stuck to me like glue.
Slugbo started attaching Oscar to him with a leash when they were both in the house. He started being the one to feed him. Nothing was working. He wouldn't turn that corner and realize he was safe with both of us.
We were getting ready to take him back since this was hard on Slugbo too. He loves animals as much as I do, and having Oscar fear him so much without cause from him, really really hurt. Then I went out of town for a long weekend and Oscar HAD to deal with Slugbo for everything.
That trip was the best thing that could have happened and Oscar started coming out of his shell. He slowly stopped hiding from the multitude of people that would be in and out of our house and office on a regular basis.
He still warms up to women first, but he's happy to see most people now and will say hi if he hasn't met you before.
Since Scrat Monster joined up Oscar came out of his shell further. He would play. He would wrestle. He would chase and he even started fetching. He didn't know how to play without teeth, so we had to be careful, but he was playing and that was all that mattered.
We lost Oscar last Monday, June 13, 2011, rather unexpectedly.
I was home sick. He was with me. He came in and hopped up on my bed and threw up (thank you doggy boy). I put him outside and he got some water and went and laid in the sun while I cleaned up the mess.
I went back out 20 minutes or so later and didn't see him. Ended up finding him behind the house in the sun unresponsive. I called Slugbo in a panic. He agreed to meet me at PetCare. I grabbed Oscar's favorite quilt and wrapped him in it and ran to the car. Cliff was completely freaking out when he saw me carrying Oscar in. :-(
Slugbo had the nurse at PetCare in the parking lot waiting for me and they had him out of the car before I'd finished parking. They took him back and we waited and I tried to tell Slubgo what happened.
The vet came in and told us they were trying. Oxygen, meds, everything they could. It didn't work. They think that because he had a heart murmur that was steadily getting worse, that when he threw up he also threw a blood clot and he stroked out.
It kills me that he was alone when it happened. They say I could not have prevented it, but I could have been with him. I don't know if he was in pain, or if he cried at all. I just know he alone, but he was in the sun, his next favorite place to be.
Slugbo and I miss him dearly. He's buried under the oak trees in the side yard so he will always have the sun on him. He's wrapped in his favorite quilt, the one he liked to chew holes in. He's encase in stone tile as well and he has a tag so if for some reason he's ever found again, the ones that find him will know he was loved and will hopefully leave him be.
I love you Oscar. I'm glad we got those 7 years. I think we made you happy and I hope you died less afraid and more trusting of people thanks to Slugbo, I and our friends that miss you too.